“Africa really reflects the challenges of better energy access, but also the formidable hopes and opportunities made possible by technology and innovation”

>> Read the full article published by Isabelle Kocher on LinkedIn

Article published on LinkedIn Influenceurs on February 22nd, 2017 (extracts)

Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE

(Em)Powering Africa

If someone asked you, “What’s the biggest challenge we’re facing today in the energy sector?” I’m pretty sure most of you would say: “combatting climate change,” “reducing our energy consumption” or “supporting renewables.” So would I. And we would certainly be right.

There’s another challenge that those of us living in industrialized countries tend to forget, however, namely: achieving universal access to energy. […]

Around 1.2 billion people live without access to energy, most of them in Africa. […]. On the African continent, about 635 million people live without access to energy, and this number is increasing due to demographic growth (International Energy Agency, 2014).

A lack of access to electricity often results in households relying on expensive, inefficient and hazardous alternatives, be it costly back-up generators running on diesel or traditional use of biomass for cooking stoves. […] I believe that Africa is at a turning point here. I am convinced that universal, affordable and reliable access to modern energy is within the continent’s reach.

There is the structural decline in the production costs of renewables, which is making it possible to tap into the vast resources of Africa. […]

“I am impressed by the vitality and audacity of innovation in Africa, which is helping to overcome difficulties long held to be insurmountable.”